In-Ground vs. Wireless Dog Fence System - Which One to Choose?

Dogs are amazing creatures, but they are also quite feisty and restless. Restlessness isn’t an alarming sign by any means, but most people find it hard to deal with, especially if they are busy with something else.

In case you have a large yard and are struggling to hold your pet back from leaving the premises, a pet containment system would be a good solution. However, finding a proper solution isn’t as easy as one might think because there are many things one should keep in mind while choosing between in-ground and wireless systems.

Most owners want only the best for their pet. These systems primarily offer safety and quite a bit of control. If you’re struggling to discipline your pet and keep it within a certain perimeter, don’t hesitate to look into one of these two methods.

Now, the only remaining question is – Which one should you choose?

Wireless system

The principle on which these systems operate is pretty straightforward. Every system consists of a transmitter, collar, and often a set of boundary flags which are used for training. The transmitter uses radio frequency to keep your pet within a particular perimeter. In case your dog steps out it will get a warning through the collar in the form of a mild shock. The shock levels are usually adjustable which is good because it allows you to fine-tune the collar according to your pet’s weight and size.

The installation is fairly simple. In fact, all you have to do is find a good spot for the transmitter inside your house, mount it, and that’s it. Once you position the transmitter properly, set up the boundary flags and start training your pet. It’s important to remember that these things work best with pets who already know a set of basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.”

The range of these units is significantly smaller in comparison to in-ground ones. Typically, a wireless system will have a range of up to 100 feet in all directions. Speaking of directions, you cannot choose the shape or size of the signal field meaning there is no adjustability in that department. On top of that, most WiFi systems emit a circular field instead of a square one.

Interference is one of the essential issues with every wireless system including pet containment units. In simpler words, the signal can be disrupted by the objects that are in the way, like trees or any larger metal object that could interfere with the signal. Also, when it comes to trees, make sure you are aware of the risks related to tree removal if you’re planning on getting rid of some that might be in the way. Therefore, even if you get the manufacturer’s guarantee as far as range and signal strength goes, you should take it with a grain of salt. That doesn’t mean that manufacturers are deliberately deceiving people, but they tend to stay silent when signal disruption is in question.

The collar offers high levels of adjustability meaning you can fine-tune the intensity according to your own preferences. Many people are afraid to train their pets by using static correction because it seems harmful and dangerous. However, one can easily start with the lowest setting and gradually increase the intensity according to their pet’s behavior. In other words, there is no need to worry about your dog’s well-being, especially if you start with the lowest intensity.

In-Ground systems

An invisible fence is a piece of wire buried underground which carries an electrical charge that sends a signal to the collar if the circuit is broken. In simpler terms, if your pet decides to step out of the perimeter, it will get a correction signal through its collar in the form of a tone, vibration, or static shock.

The important thing to remember here is that the electric charge is completely harmless. It will emit an unpleasant signal, but it will not cause any injuries or harm to your pet.  There are plenty of pros and cons of invisible dog fence, and it’s important that you cover them all in order to see whether it’s the right solution to your issue.

The installation is significantly more complex in comparison to wireless systems. In fact, many people decide to hire a professional to take care of the installation because it requires some knowledge, labor, and quite a bit of time. On the other hand, if you have some spare time and will; doing the installation part by yourself shouldn’t be too much of an issue. In fact, if you thoroughly study the user manual, you should be able to set the whole system up without stumbling upon too many issues.

The range, on the other hand, is much larger and better in comparison to WiFi units. A high-quality in-ground fence can cover up to 30 acres, and most importantly – it allows you to determine the shape and size of the signal field yourself. In other words, in-ground units come with much more versatility and adjustability than wireless ones.

Interference is non-existent when it comes to these units. Because hidden systems don’t emit any radio signals but instead work as an enclosed circuit, things like trees, large objects, and even walls aren’t a threat to the system whatsoever. As long as you invest in a high-quality wire and keep it connected to the transmitter, there should not be any signal loss at all.  In case you’re planning to enrich your yard with trees and green stuff, this is the system you should be considering. 

Portability is something you shouldn’t be counting on if you opt to invest in in-ground systems. Once you set it up, it’s quite a nuisance to re-set it all over again. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but you shouldn’t count on too much portability in the first place. However, thanks to the massive range, you should have more than enough coverage around the house.

The collar system is quite similar to the one used with WiFi units, but with a notable difference. Collars that are a part of an in-ground system don’t offer any adjustability. In other words, you cannot set the shock intensity on it. The good thing about this concept is that if it fails, it won’t send a continuous signal through the collar which can potentially harm your pet.

The final verdict – Which one to choose?

As one can assume, coming up with a verdict is not easy at all. In fact, there is no “better” option between these two systems; it all comes down to user’s requirements and expectations. In other words, you should opt for the solution that brings the most benefits to your situation.

In-ground units are somewhat hard to set up, but once they are in place, there is no need for further adjustments. In case you have a massive yard, it’s probably a good idea to invest in these particular systems instead of WiFi. When it comes to maintenance, these units don’t require much attention, but if something goes wrong or a connection gets broken, finding the core of the problem could be quite complicated due to it being buried underground.

Wireless systems are quite easy to install and set up, but they don’t offer as much range. As mentioned, most modern models offer about 100 yards of coverage. If you have a smaller yard, the coverage shouldn’t be an issue. However, in case you have a large one, it could be a problem, especially if you’re planning on setting up a specific shape of the signal field because it’s not possible to do with wireless systems.

It is up to you to see which of these two makes more sense in your situation. While every owner wants only the best for their pet, it’s extremely important that you find a unit that makes your pet feel comfortable and at ease instead of causing anxiety and restlessness.  

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